Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mystery Revealed: Victorian Mailbox

So, the previously described mystery project was installing this Victorian mailbox that the mother has wanted for ages. For the record, the old mailbox, still visible in this shot, has since been removed.

I'm not sure why this became a priority in the past month (I've long since stopped questioning the enigma that is the mother's logic) but this and one other project -- still to come -- have become something akin to life and death.

Pearl wore a hard hat for the initial task of Phase 1: Getting the mailbox home. The mother was SURE it would fit in the trunk or that the box section would detach from the base. (I should know better than to trust the mother on anything where measurements matter. I guess I never learn.) She was wrong on both counts.

While the box would have easily gone into Ladybird's trunk, it was nothing doing with Pearl. I finally had to spread blankets out over the backseat and then carefully wrap the box in another blanket to get it home without damaging my leather!

You should be seeing Phase 2 of this project quite soon as it arrived via UPS on Monday -- more than a week ahead of the date that was given to me when I ordered it! I'm looking forward to it as I can't wait to see how it all comes together.

As with most things I attempt, I wasn't really sure how I was going to do this. So, I just did it.

I dug the hole, threw in a few 1x2s scraps to make a rectangle, got the hose ready and threw in a bag of concrete. I ultimately used both of the 50 pound bags I bought. Once I got the concrete to a healthy consistency, I pulled out the 1x2s (which was a mistake because you can see how I sloshed concrete out onto the grass as I did a few more good mixes with the shovel).

I used a trowel to level the concrete out as best I could. Once level, I used my handy template to carefully insert each of the four hex bolts HEADFIRST into the concrete. (If I had it to do over again, I would have exposed more of the bolt threads as the bolts eventually sank a little farther into the concrete than I would have liked.) When it came time hours later to set the mailbox into place, I held my breath.

But all four bolts aligned with the holes in the base of the mailbox!!! As I mentioned though, two of them sank deeper than I'd hoped so the coordinating nuts are only tentatively in place. The other two, however, are rock solid.

So, in the past few weeks, I've added bases to the front porch columns and installed a mailbox in the yard. That wraps up Phase 1. Here's the end result.

Stay tuned for Phase 2 and ... for ANOTHER fabulous giveaway in honor of the mother's birthday this weekend!


Kate R said...

I love it! And I never would have guessed that in a million years.

Anonymous said...

That mailbox is one of the classiest I've ever seen! I love it!

I was wondering...isn't there some postal rule that says a mailbox has to be either next to the front door or out at the street? (Or did my mind just make that up?) I'm sure you probably checked that before putting it up. Anyway, great addition to the house!

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

Very cool mailbox!

NV said...

Kate – Thanks, Kate! Yeah, I was pretty cagey in how I described what I was doing …

Star – Thanks, Star. I like it but I’m still trying to get used to it. (I thought the mother intended to paint it white but no. It will all make more sense – and maybe I will see it all better once Phase 2starts.) Oh yeah – There are A TON of rules and regs re: mailboxes. We don’t really apply to curbside (four-lane roadway) and since this is literally two steps off our walking path, I think we’re OK. (I did not want to fight going through all of the layers of landscaping rock NOR did I want people to crash into it as they step off the porch AND I wanted to leave me enough space to mow.) That remains to be seen. We’ve been getting our mail in it so far …

Kate @26 – Thanks!

Ty'sMommy said...

I love it! I think it makes a great addition to the front yard.

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